Travel Blog Kurdistan, Iran | Pyala Travel

Read here all about our exploration tour to Kurdistan in Iran

Travel Blog Kurdistan, Iran

Arrived early in the morning after a short flight in Kermanshah. I am picked up by two proud Kurds who will lead me through the Iranian part of Kurdistan in the coming days. While at the moment there is heavy fighting in Syrian and Iraqi parts of Kurdistan, fortunately everything here is quiet. The men are happy and grateful that I am here, something I will encounter more on my first day here. In about two hours we drive to the characteristic village of Palangan, remote in a valley, built on two mountainsides. The houses are stacked on top of each other and seem to be part of the mountains from afar, especially now that the landscape is as dry and barren as it is now. In that respect I would recommend a trip to this region in spring when the valleys are green. Anyway, even now there is plenty to discover. What is striking anyway today, every man, from young to old, wears the puff pants, so characteristic of the Kurds. The women also often wear colourful puff pants and floral headscarves, all a lot more colourful than the average Iranian women in their chadors (except for the trendy youth of Tehran then).
In Palangan I stand for a while between a huge herd of goats and sheep that are being milked, I see an older couple of grains stomping into a pig's bladder to make oil from it and I enjoy a very nice viskebab in a shady chaikhana along the river. Then through the undulating landscape (reminiscent of Tuscany with a bit of imagination) on my way to Paveh. On the way I visit an enormous cave system and at the end of the afternoon I arrive in the town of Paveh, which is close to the Iraqi border. Again a predominantly Kurdish population, but the town doesn't have much more to offer. There are hardly any restaurants, no sights and a reasonable hotel. That's where I'm going to sleep now.

Here you can see the pictures of this tour.
Kurdish Mountain Villages

Got up early for the trip to Howraman (or Ouraman), actually a region in Iranian Kurdistan on the border with Iraq. The highest village is Ouraman e Takht, my goal for today. It is a beautiful day with beautiful views. There are two routes to Ouraman, one old and one new. First I drive over the old one, a bad road through a rugged mountain landscape. But also a landscape that is changing enormously. An enormous dam is being built that changes the character of the region. Some villages are (partly) under water, other villages are cut off from water, riverbeds are moved, beautiful waterfalls have once disappeared, and so on. And it does not look like Kurdistan will benefit financially from this dam. I drive a bit past the village of Hajij and then return to the new road. A beautiful road that follows the border with Iraq and climbs higher and higher, with magnificent views far into Iraqi Kurdistan. Here too everything is completely quiet, there are no indications that people are worried that the fighting with the IS will take place hundreds of kilometres further on this side.
I enter the valley of Horwraman e Takht, a beautiful valley and a beautiful Kurdish village. At the edge of the village a centuries-old spiritual place, where still every year celebrations take place, which have nothing to do with islam. Lots of ribbons in trees, something you can find in other religions as well. I stroll through the village, am greeted by friendly Kurds and visit the mosque and bazaar. Then I slowly drive out of the mountains to Marivan. Here a delicious lunch, fresh fish caught in the lake where Marivan is famous for. On the other side of the lake the border again. On the way to Sanandaj I visit the mosque of Negel, where one of the oldest Korans in the world is located. At dusk I look out from the Abidar mountain over Sanandaj, capital of Kurdistan.